Entries in Tina Smith (4)


Brittany Mae Smith, Missing Virginia Girl, Found Safe in California

Phtoo Courtesy - ABC News (SAN FRANCISCO) -- Brittany Mae Smith, the 12-year-old girl from Salem, Va., who went missing for a week, has been found safe in San Francisco.

"She is well and she is in good hands at this time," Roanoke County, Va., Police Chief Ray Lavinder told reporters hours after Brittany was found. "She's been in touch with her family. They're very relieved and I'm assuming maybe a family member will go out there and escort her back."

Police in Roanoke, Va., added that Jeffrey Scott Easley, 32, was in custody in connection with the case. He was a suspect both in Brittany's disappearance and in the death of her mother, Tina Smith.  Police issued an Amber Alert for Brittany on Dec. 6 after discovering the body of her mother in their Salem, Va. home.

Lavinder said Brittany and Easley were spotted by a police tipster in an unspecified retail store in San Francisco. Police soon took the pair into custody without resistance. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 


Aunt Pleads for Brittany Mae Smith to Come Home in Time for Christmas

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ROANOKE, Va.) -- Relatives of missing 12-year-old Brittany Mae Smith appealed Thursday to the man suspected of holding her to let the girl come home safely for Christmas.

The women, all sisters of Brittany's murdered mother Tina Smith, directed their pleas at Jeffrey Scott Easley, a 32-year-old man who moved in with Brittany and her mother in October and was last seen on a surveillance camera leaving a Walmart store in Salem, Va. with Brittany last Friday.

"Mr. Easley, I know you don't know me, but, sir, please let Brittany come home for Christmas," said Rhonda, one of Brittany's aunts, at a press conference. The women did not want to reveal their last names.

The search for Brittany and Easley now spans eight states and police have received 500 tips.

Police issued an Amber Alert for Brittany on Dec. 6 after discovering the body of her 41-year-old mother.  A coroner ruled the death a homicide. Police said that finding Brittany and Easley is key to the murder investigation.

The search for the missing seventh grader led law enforcement to issue Amber Alerts in North Carolina, California, Florida, Alabama, West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Billboards with Brittany's picture have also been put up in those states, too.

Roanoke County, Va. Police Chief Ray Lavinder also said that investigators believe someone may be helping Easley and Brittany.

"I'm almost positive that someone out there knows where Brittany and Mr. Easley are. The weather has been very bad...they need food. Someone, if they are still in this region, is hiding them, I'm certain of that," Lavinder said.

Lavinder has asked motorists to be on the lookout for Tina Smith's 2005 silver Dodge Neon with the Virginia tag XKR-2365. Attached to the back of the car is a spoiler.

Easley, described as 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, is believed to have family in North Carolina and Alabama. Easley has two tattoos: a red star and a black tribal sign.

Brittany is five feet tall and weighs 100 pounds. She has straight brown hair and brown eyes. She is wearing several bracelets including a bright green rubber bracelet with yellow cursive writing. The bracelet is in memory of her brother who died last summer.

If you know anything about Brittany Mae Smith's disappearance, authorities urge you to e-mail or call the Roanoke County Police at 540-777-8641 or the Virginia State Police at 1-800-822-4453.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 


Autopsy Finds Missing Girl's Mom Was Murdered; Girl May Have Left Willingly

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SALEM, Va.) -- Virginia police who issued an Amber Alert for 12-year-old Brittany Mae Smith determined Tuesday that the girl's mother was murdered, and they want to talk to the 32-year-old man who lived with Smith and her mother.

Police are also not ruling out that Brittany left home willingly.

The missing child alert for Brittany was issued Monday when police found the body of her 41-year-old mother Tina Smith in their home. An autopsy on her body was concluded Tuesday.

"We have an active homicide investigation," state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told ABC News. Geller said investigators were not releasing the cause of death or the time of death.

Police did release a surveillance camera photograph that captured Brittany leaving a Walmart store in her hometown of Salem, Va., Friday evening in the company of Jeffrey Scott Easley, a 32-year-old landscaper who met Tina Smith online this summer and moved into their house in October.

In the photo, Brittany appears at ease with the 265-pound Easley.

Geller said police do not yet know whether the Walmart photo was taken before or after Tina Smith's murder.

Geller also said, "As far as their relationship, we are still trying to determine that...we are not certain right now. But she is 12 and he is 32. She's definitely at risk."

Easley's mother Sallie Martin appeared at a police news conference Tuesday to plead with her son to turn himself in.

"From what I know about you and Brittany...." she said at point, but didn't finish the sentence. She added, "I know you're taking care of Brittany. If you would just take her somewhere and drop her off."

Referring to Tina Smith's homicide, Geller said, "We have not identified a suspect or obtained an arrest warrant."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Amber Alert for Missing Virginia Girl After Mother Found Dead 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ROANOKE, Va.) -- Virginia police are "extremely concerned" about the safety of 12-year-old girl Brittany Mae Smith, who may be in the custody of a hulking man who police also want to interview about her mother's death.

Police, who have issued an Amber Alert for Brittany, asked motorists to be on the lookout for a 2005 silver Dodge Neon with the Virginia tag XKR-2365.

They are also hoping that Brittany is able to use her cell phone and send a message to one of her friends with whom she is normally in daily contact.

"We are extremely concerned with Brittany's safety and we've asked the state police to continue with the Amber Alert for another 24 hours," Roanoke County Police Chief Ray Lavinder said at a press conference. The officer said police believe Brittany is alive.

Authorities believe the seventh grader is with 32-year-old Jeffrey Scott Easley, who police want to question about the death of Brittany's mother, Tina.

When asked if Brittany was in danger, Lavinder said "absolutely."

Police discovered the death of Tina and Brittany's disappearance on Monday when they visited the family's home in Salem, Va.

"When our officers entered the residence, they found the body of 41-year-old Tina Smith. Her coworkers had contacted us after Mrs. Smith did not show up for work," Lavinder said.

Also missing is Tina Smith's 2005 silver Dodge Neon with the Virginia tag XKR-2365.

Easley, described as 5-foot-11, 265 pounds, is believed to have family in North Carolina and Alabama. The two may be headed in that direction, police said.

Easley, who works as a landscaper, was last seen Friday evening.

Investigators are still determining the relationship between Tina Smith and Easley. Lavinder said that the two met online in the summer and that Easley later moved into the family's home in October.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio